Fox News - Rupert Murdoch - Public Enemy #1?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by SMM, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #1
    When Fox News first began broadcasting, it was obvious they had a hard right-wing bias in their reporting. They were soon relegated to one of my random stops while channel surfing. The next time I actually spend viewing time there, I was shocked by how slanted their broadcasting had become. It had for all intents and purposes, ceased to be news. It had evolved into 24 hours of neo-conservative spin. My stops there became even less frequent. I would occasionally go there to see how they were reporting a major news story. Sadly, I knew that many Americans got their news from Fox.

    I pretty much dismissed Fox as an extremist outlet for the conservative agenda. However, my attitude changed after reading Al Franken's book, "Lying Liars and the Lies They Tell". I began to see a much more sinister aspect of Fox. I had witnessed them taking liberties with the truth, even embellishing the facts. Al Franken's book exposes a network which totally fabricates stories. They are flat-out lying. With these fictional facts, they go beyond falsely reporting the news, they are creating it.

    I had been led to believe, part of the FCC licensing requirements, for a news franchise, was to uphold journalistic standards. I must be mistaken. There is no conceivable way Fox could pass even cursory review. That is unless their WH cohorts, ordered their FCC appointee to perform a 'dog and pony show' during their certification process. regardless of how they have managed to keep ejaculating their filth, there was no question in my mind that they were clearly deceiving many conservatives and moderates. A recent documentary has awakened me to how detrimental to America Fox has become.

    I do not know how many of you have watched the Bill Moyer's documentary, "The Buying of the War". It is exceptionally well done, and very disturbing. It chronicles how the Administration and the Media almost became inseparable, promoting the case for war. What Fox was doing however, goes far beyond making the neo-conservative case.

    The term used in the program was 'Patriot Police', and 'Slime Patrol'. Anyone who disagreed with the Administration was labeled "a bad American" (Bill O'Reilly). He is shown saying, "If you disagree with this President in times of national emergency, and this is a time of national emergency, well let's just say we are going to spotlight you!". Even the news icon, Dan Rather felt the intimidation, "Everyone was intimidated, and scared....no one had to send you a memo, you just knew". Donahue found out the hard way. MSNBC was coerced into canceling his show a few weeks before the invasion. A leaked memo (NY Times), said, "Donahue presents a difficult face in a time of war (and needs to be cancelled)".

    Every media outlet must have free reign to present the news as they see it. When Fox uses fear, influence, retaliation and coercion, to prevent others from fairly reporting, they have crossed over the line. They have then made themselves the sole source of information. Fox is way over that line. How can Americans make informed decisions, if they only get to hear one side of the story?

    I recently called and spoke with one of the individuals in Bill Moyer's documentary. He said he was speaking as an individual, and asked me not to quote him directly. He told me that a lot of people in the media and in government would "sleep easier" if Fox could be "taken down a couple notches". I asked him why no one is doing it, and he said, "you might loose and there would be a heavy thud". It would be better for the public to do this. They are the only ones outside of Fox's reach. But, we in the media do not see a great deal of effort, and certainly not follow through on the publics part".

    To those of you who were aware in the 60's and 70's, do you think this would have been tolerated back then? No way. Fox would be sucking on a pipe bomb. I am not advocating violence, just pointing out how much we have given up over the past 30-40 years. People used to be informed, aware of the world they lived in. Now, we have 401K's and reality TV. I have not been assimilated. I am still part of 'the struggle'. How about you?

    I cannot think of a more important thing (other than stopping the war) than to get the truth back in front of our citizen's eyes. Defanging Fox would go a long way toward that end.
     
  2. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

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    #2
    There's no law saying that news programs have a duty to report the truth.

    The law says that... not me.
     
  3. Motley macrumors 6502

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    #3
    In fact, didn't Fox win a lawsuit saying just that? (I know they did, I'm just too lazy to look it up)
     
  4. ham_man macrumors 68020

    ham_man

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    #4
    Who defines what exactly qualifies as news, though?
     
  5. SMM thread starter macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #5
    I did not suggest they did. I do not think they have the right to silence others from reporting their version of the truth. Thanks.
     
  6. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

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    #6
    Yep. Over the carcinogenic cow hormones and blood and **** in the milk in Florida. A couple of their investigative journalists were fired and blacklisted, if I remember correctly, because they wanted to report on the story. They sued and lost.

    Apparently my bitterness escaped the original poster, so I'll restate my opinion instead of implying it. I think it's ****ing abominable that news organizations can choose to ignore a given story or report it incorrectly. Either is inexcusable.

    I haven't watched TV news in a long time. Then we bought an HDTV. I hooked it up and turned it on, wired the antenna, etc. We pulled in Akron's ABC news. They were (I **** thee not) talking about a local man who had a problem with his gate latch, so they sent a reporter and some sort of handyman or something out to fix it. I wish I were kidding.

    I know this is Akron, not South Central or Baghdad, but... seriously. This city has 1/3 of a million people in it.
     
  7. SMM thread starter macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #7
    That itself could spawn a new thread. The primary relevance I can see, in this context, is when information is simply withheld from the public. As such, omission is just another form of 'filtering'. For example:

    Colin Powell went to the UN and made a 90 minute speech, outlining the case for war. On the front page of virtually every newspaper, and the lead story on all of the networks, stated, "..a compelling case...", "...an airtight case..", "...indisputable proof...", etc.

    But, the facts he presented began, to unravel within hours. He simply flat-out lied at many junctures. There were stories written, which pointed out these 'inconsistencies'. But, they were put on the back pages of the paper, and were largely ignored by the networks.

    It is known in journalism, the reader assumes the 'important' stories are in the front. Stories in the back, are assumed to be of lesser value. So, simply by how the stories were presented made the case for war, when the more compelling argument was not to go to war.
     
  8. SMM thread starter macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #8
    Sorry for missing the bitterness. Allow me to make amends by absolutely siding with your sentiment ".....abominable that news organizations can choose to ignore a given story or report it incorrectly". I do not mind if they do not always get it right, as long as they are trying to.

    Interestingly, there were people who DID get the Iraq story right, and reported it as such. They were the reporters from Knight Ridder. They have a Washington DC bureau. It provides copy for dozens of newspapers around the country. Their bureau chief is John Walcott. He said, "Our readers are the people who get sent to war and we felt an obligation to scrutinize everything". His two top reporters, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel, did the research, spoke with the CIA and Military Intel Analysts. They actually got the story right. Meanwhile, the NY Times, Washington Post and all of the networks were flooding the public with opinion pieces supporting the war. What is really disheartening, they did have reporters writing stories which challenged the WH claims. One notable one was Walter Pincus of the Post. But, their stories were always put on the back pages. This definitely supports your point.

    Senator Kennedy, the leading democrat in the nation, gave an impassioned speech, challenging the WH claims of WMD and Iraqi ties to terrorism. It was lengthy. The Washington post gave it one sentence. Prior to the war, over 100,000 Americans marched on Washington to show disapproval of the impending war. The Post gave it one picture on the Metro Page.
     
  9. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

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    #9
    The reason this frustrates me so much is that it seems that the only alternative is legally forcing the media to act as a check and balance to the government, which doesn't even make sense :p

    I disbelieve in any sort of government interference with the media -- it scares the hell out of me, really -- and this is one case where giving the media a free rein doesn't do a damn bit of good. If business is actually the primary power in the country, and it orchestrates business to a large extent, then having a free media is meaningless because it's going to support the puppet government's judgements.

    It's amusing to consider the idea of a small opposition government composed entirely of ragged individualists that fights to protect the people from the large media's depredations, deceit, and injustice.

    People have to get a lot smarter... in a hurry.
     
  10. SMM thread starter macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #10
    Once again, I agree wholeheartedly. But, how will they get any smarter when they put forth so little effort to do so? People would rather watch American Idol, Survivor or Lost, instead of shows like "The Buying of the War". The good journalism is not what is playing on most networks, and certainly not during prime time. People actually have to make an effort to watch it. But, there is a wildcard in this, the Internet.

    When I find good stories, like many people have shared on this board, I have a distribution list of (currently) 24 friends who will have it in the email immediately. When there were only a dozen people, we were hitting over two hundred total (that we were sure of). I do not know what the count is now. The point is, there is a new way for the good journalism to reach people, that was not available through normal distribution channels. I also know I can send articles to 'fringe' people at work. There is more of a chance they will read it on their employers time, rather than their own (sorry to say).
     
  11. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #11
    Yes, they've in fact won several lawsuits like that. One where they actually, I kid you not, won the right to outright lie and call it news. There were some memos floating around where the higher ups were telling everyone what to talk about and how to spin it. Watch the movie Outfoxed and you'll see even more. Fair and Balanced my @$$. Reagan did away with the fair reporting acts, and they're cable anyway, so they can get away with it.

    Kinda surprised there aren't more defenders here telling us how liberal everyone else is (even though they aren't), how they're just balancing out the rest.
     
  12. SMM thread starter macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #12
    Again, I see the larger issue as their extortion of other reporting agencies. I would not support that behavior from a liberal channel either. There is only one actual set of facts. There are usually many ways to interpret them (spin). That is what can set one source apart from another. But, nothing should prevent us from having the 'facts' reported. I do not take the liberal position on every issue. I like to judge the facts on their own merit. I like to discuss issues, with others who have different opinions. But that does not happen if we are looking at a different version of the facts. Where Fox completely crosses the line is when they refuse to present the true facts, and then try to ensure no one else can either.

    I too am surprised the thread did not generate more interest and counterpoint.
     
  13. geese macrumors 6502a

    geese

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    #13
    Perhaps even the 'usual suspects' here cant defend the indefensable.
     
  14. Motley macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Never stopped them from trying before.
     
  15. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #15
    Rupert Murdoch wouldn't be as successful as he is if a lot of people weren't watching his stations on a daily basis.
     
  16. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    totally cool
  17. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #17
    Actually, Fox News hemorrhaged money for quite awhile before becoming popular. A popularity that is once again slipping. The NY Post had the same problem.

    Some people like to be lied to, but that doesn't make it right. And that's my problem with Fox. Not the slant, but the outright lying. I don't understand why everyone doesn't have a problem with that.
     
  18. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #18
    Every startup hemorages cash until it establishes an audience and I don't think that the ratings show it falling out of the top in several key time slots and demographics.

    Perhaps the millions of us that watch Fox don't feel we're being lied to.
     
  19. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

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    #19
    "Pet me! Pet me! Now give me someone to hate! Hate hate hate! Barbecue! Used cars! Hate!"
     
  20. geese macrumors 6502a

    geese

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    #20
    Well you are, despite what you feel.
     
  21. Mgkwho macrumors 6502a

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  22. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #22
    hmmmm, I thought FAUX News was losing viewers.

    Perhaps you're simply lying to yourself.
     
  23. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #23
    Still at the top. Numbers are deceiving because overall TV viewership of news is proportional to what's going on in the world.

    Perhaps you could use the numbers for the likes of CBS for comparison.
     
  24. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #24
    Could you cite a lie from me? And I would prefer independent verification from Franken's book. I wouldn't trust an assertion from Coulter, and I won't trust one from him. Your only reference is to Bill. I don't have an issue with citing to him as an example of Fox's slant, but that isn't going to fly when it comes to lying. The guy is a TV opinion columnist. He'll throw out his opinion, spin his facts, whatever - I don't really care. I wouldn't rely on him as my only source for news, just like I wouldn't rely on his liberal equivalent.

    Aside from providing a rightist spin (which they seem to be pretty honest about) and working rather aggressively increase their market share, I'm not seeing anything to really tack onto them. You seem to argue that the WH has promoted Fox to the detriment of others. I don't remember which Amendment required any politician to favor all outlets equally. The announced Dem candidates have no problem ignoring Fox with as much fervor as the POTUS deals with them.

    So, please, show me a specific lie by FNC. I have seen grass that looked blue and skies with a hint of green, so please, show me something that isn't spin (especially if you see it from a commentator instead of a reporter).

    And as for the ratings (as of four days ago), Ugg, solvs, and Swarmlord are all right. If the BoSox lost 4 straight to the Yanks, they would be losing ground, but they would still have a significant lead in the AL East. FNC is no longer close to doubling up the combined viewership of MSNBC and CNN (making Ugg and solvs right), but they still have the top spot by more than the combination (Swarmlord is right).
     
  25. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I think some of the posters have trouble distinguishing between opinions of commentators and news reported by reporters. If they disagree with the opinion of a commentator - and let's be fair, they're referring to the likes of Hannity and O'Reilly - then it's by definition a lie.

    But it's not a "lie" when liberals use the words "free" and "healthcare" in the same sentence though. They should be forced to use the term Cost Transferred Healthcare as far as I'm concerned. See, it's all about perspective.
     

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